Your Interior zone
Your Interior Zone
Did you know that fifty percent of your potential students’ first impression is made in seconds after they enter your four walls?
Studies show men form an opinion on first impressions within 20-seconds, while women get there in 15. Your walls speak to your prospects whether you know it or not.
Make sure the message is the one you want them to receive. I know in the early days of my school, the first impression my school delivered was a foul stench of stale sweat. With a contorted face and watery eyes a prospect would say, “This place stinks.” My idiotic response was one of foolish pride. I would respond with, “We’ve earned that stench.”
On your own turf, you should have no problem setting yourself apart from the competitors in your city. From the potential student’s perspective, all schools are the same unless something clearly sets one apart.
One of the most effective ways to win the perception battle is to look at the space inside and near your school as being made up of marketing zones as we touched upon during the exterior lesson.
Zone maximization is the planned, strategic use of the physical areas in and around your school. We will spend some time on these zones to increase enrollments and revenues by influencing your school’s perception and using specific promotional messages or visuals in each zone.
The Ideal Marketing Zone
Look at your school as an ideal micro-world where you control every inch of the physical space and everything that occurs inside the four walls.
Inside your walls, that advantage is yours to use or to lose. Most schools lose it, a marketing master will use it.
The Counter Greeting
You want to apply the three-foot rule to everyone who enters the school. The rule is simply that everyone gets greeted within three feet of entering the building. Make sure the greeting is sincere, enthusiastic, and includes a smile.
If it’s a student, teach your staff and leadership team that the class warm-up begins the moment the student steps into the school. The greeting is part of the mental warm-up that gets a student ready for class.
For prospects, a warm enthusiastic greeting is essential for creating a good first impression. Have you ever been somewhere where you felt invisible? By greeting prospects quickly and courteously they’ll understand they’re important and will be more open to what you have to say about your program.
Creating an Effective, Safe Counter Zone
The front counter zone should be organized and clean in appearance. Remember, besides the exterior of the building, this is the first part of your interior that your prospects will see.
The front counter houses items like guest information cards, pens, class schedules, clipboards, school brochures, and other items needed to help prospects. They should be kept in a specific spot so they are easy to find without having to dig around like a hamster to find something.
Be sure that your front counter keeps everyone’s personal information private.
For example, if there is a computer monitor located at your front counter zone, it should never display an open student record with contact information, notes the staff has input and of course banking or credit card information. If stolen, you may be liable.
Calls that need to be made by staff members of a personal nature that should not be overheard by students should simply be made from the privacy of an office. You’d be surprised at who may hear what.
Action Steps: What to do now
1. If you don’t have a front counter area or it’s located further away than what’s recommended, brainstorm on how you will accomplish the three-foot rule.
2. Make a list of what items should be present at your front counter.